In his ProphecyTodayUK editorial ‘Turning The World Upside-Down’ Clifford Hill writes,
“We live in momentous times! Everything is being shaken …everything is changing at an ever-increasing speed! …Every day something new happens that causes us to change our thinking and re-assess what we had considered immutable, unchangeable, everlasting.”
The reverend doctor has in mind one of the events I alluded to as the 6th world-changing spiritual trend of 2016, additional to those Rick Joyner noticed (here). Both events indicate a significant trend of great Biblical and prophetical importance. One was drawn to my attention over the recent New Year, but let’s consider Clifford Hill’s editorial first.
He refers to a statement made a couple of months ago by “a group of 25 Orthodox rabbis that attracted very little attention in the media but which may prove to be an event that changes the course of world history“ (emphasis added).
Instrumental in this event is the Centre for Jewish-Christian Understanding & Cooperation. The CJCUC demonstrated its deep committment to dialogue and theological exchange since 2008 when it invited Christians to come and study the Hebrew Bible. In Who We Are reference is made to Christendom’s ungodly antagonism (which arose out of Jewish authorities’ persecution of early believers):
‘For the nearly 2,000 years of Jewish exile prior to the establishment of the Jewish State, persecution, pogrom and even bloodshed muted any possibility of dialogue, turning us into sworn enemies instead of national partners.
‘But a sea change has occurred during these last several decades. Christians are sincerely trumpeting the call that G-d remains faithful to His initial covenant with Israel, and that the Biblical prophecy is continually being fulfilled through the people of Israel living in its covenanted land. Even the most desperate of times, during this last period, when Israel was forsaken by many of the Diaspora Jews, Christians continued to visit the Holy Land and comfort Zion and her people with prayer, offerings and sincere fellowship. This new reality is one of the great miracles of our times and calls for our faiths to foster friendship and mutual support.’ (Emphases RB)
Published on 3 December 2015 the Orthodox Rabbinic Statement on Christianity is entitled, ‘To Do the Will of Our Father in Heaven: Toward a Partnership between Jews and Christians’, which opens as follows:
‘After nearly two millennia of mutual hostility and alienation, we Orthodox Rabbis who lead communities, institutions and seminaries in Israel, the United States and Europe recognize the historic opportunity now before us. We seek to do the will of our Father in Heaven by accepting the hand offered to us by our Christian brothers and sisters…’
It makes for highly informative reading and should be read by all Christians. In recognising that the Church of Rome’s ‘official teachings on Judaism have changed fundamentally and irrevocably’, the Statement declares:
‘Now that the Catholic Church has acknowledged the eternal Covenant between G-d and Israel, we Jews can acknowledge the ongoing constructive validity of Christianity as our partner in world redemption, without any fear that this will be exploited for missionary purposes. As stated by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel’s Bilateral Commission with the Holy See under the leadership of Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen, “We are no longer enemies, but unequivocal partners in articulating the essential moral values for the survival and welfare of humanity”. Neither of us can achieve G-d’s mission in this world alone.’
[I flag the lack of relevance such a ‘dual covenant’ has for the Messianic movement.]
NEW ATTITUDE TO JESUS
Clifford Hill notes one of the Statement’s key points is in the Orthodox acknowledgement that Jesus upheld the centrality of the Torah, which was the original bone of contention brought against the Apostles by false witnesses (Acts 6:13-14). Clifford writes,
“In the Gospels there are many occasions when Jesus disputed with the Pharisees concerning their interpretation and practice of the Torah, but he always upheld the Torah as the unchangeable word of God. In the Statement from the Orthodox rabbis this is acknowledged in a momentous passage that unties 2,000 years of misunderstanding between Jews and Christians. The Statement affirms a declaration by 18th Century German rabbi Jacob Emden:
‘Jesus brought a double goodness to the world. On the one hand he strengthened the Torah of Moses majestically, and not one of our sages spoke out more emphatically concerning the immutability of the Torah. On the other hand he removed idols from the nations’.“
HISTORIC TURNING POINT
The Statement now bears over 60 rabbi’s signatures and Clifford points out (emphases added),
“This is surely a notable miracle and could signal a turning point in the history of Jewish-Christian relations, as prophesied by the Apostle Paul in a letter to Christians in Ephesus. He said that the purpose of Jesus was to destroy the barrier between Jews and Gentiles. “His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace” (Eph 2.15).
CJCUC’s Academic Director endorses Dr Hill’s opinion by saying,
“This proclamation’s breakthrough is that influential Orthodox Rabbis across all centers of Jewish life have finally acknowledged that…Christianity and Judaism have much in common spiritually and practically. Given our toxic history, this is unprecedented in Orthodoxy.”
Another significant passage is on Jew’s and Christian’s ‘common covenantal mission to perfect the world under the sovereignty of the Almighty’. In the summary of Christian doctrine delivered in his letter to the church in Rome, St Paul saw a future when barriers between Gentiles and Jews would be broken and they’d powerfully be used by God in a spiritual unity of ‘One New Man’. This wouldn’t happen ‘until the full number of the Gentiles has come in’ (Rom 11:25), which Jesus prophesied will be when Jerusalem ceased being trampled upon by Gentiles (Luke 21:24).
REJECTION OF REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY
Clifford makes no bones about the falsity and damage done by this accursed theology in providing grounds for the Holocaust. And so this Statement from Orthodox rabbis brings a great opportunity for the Church:
“This is an historic time for Christians throughout the world to call upon church leaders to respond to this statement from Orthodox rabbis by humbly apologising for the false theology we have propagated for centuries. We should also be humbly confessing before God that we have dared to teach that he is not a covenant-keeping God who would never ever break his promises.” (Emphasis added)
He concludes by pointing out to Protestants that,
“Now is the time, while God is shaking the whole world, for Christians to recognise our responsibility for so many of the tragedies of history and to reach out in love and humility to our Jewish brothers and sisters. The Catholic Church has done this: surely Protestant Church leaders should do the same – reaching out in the name of Jesus the Jewish Messiah.”
Read Clifford’s full editorial > Turning the World Upside-Down.
AN ‘ISRAEL REFORMATION’
Clifford’s call reiterates that of Dr Jurgen Buhler, Executive Director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, in his excellent exposition published in March 2015.
Jurgen writes in The Coming ‘Israel Reformation’ in The Church on ‘a major paradigm shift’ concerning Israel is taking place for Israel, and for the Church. He uses scripture to outline how the Church should relate to the Jewish people and the state of Israel, as under these topics:
- remember your pagan past
- acknowledge the Hebrew roots of your faith
- appreciate the irrevocable calling over Israel
- recognise your spiritual debt to Israel
- expect the restoration of Israel.
‘In the New Testament, the Apostles affirm the enduring calling over Israel and strongly establish the hope of Israel’s restoration. This is demonstrated in the last question they posed to Jesus before his ascension: “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6) Paul also conveys this hope to the church in Rome: “For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?” (Romans 11:15) In other words, he maintains that the greatest calling and blessings still lays ahead for Israel. This means every church should embrace a theology of hope regarding Israel and support her full restoration.’